In IT companies, English is usually the official communication medium as most of the companies deal with foreign customers. We have so many countries where English is second, or even third language and in many workplaces the spoken language will be a regional language and email/online communications will be in English.
Problems I felt from team are:
- Typos (manageable up to an extend in email clients with spell checkers)
- Bad grammar - leads to miscommunication including misunderstanding as 'rude mail'
- People hesitate to talk to customers (shy, fear, no confidence)
- Incorrect pronunciation leads to miscommunication which impacts customer confidence
- Time waste in online meetings
- Problems for the team in understanding customer requirements
- Team not successful in convincing clients when requirement creeps
- Soft skills trainings are not usually conducted in small companies
- Team do not give importance to communication skills and they believe it is not a part of their job
How to transform the team to good communicators? What a PM can do other than ask them to study yourselves? A slow poison is what I expect so that the team communication improvement process will not affect project priorities.
UPDATE: Thank you for the answers. Here the communication issues are not just with customer interactions. The teams can be intercultural and/or can contain remote members. So as I said, I am not expecting a fast recovery solution but a medicine to heal the root cause.